The lion, the witch, and the capsule wardrobe. Part 2.

So, there I was talking to myself (negotiating really) about the amount of clothing I owned.  I was irritated because I thought I was a minimalist and yet the number of pieces in my closet disproved that. When I took a deep breath and really thought about my clothes, I realized that I wasn’t really upset about the amount.  I had to face some truths about the types of clothes in my closet and what they really said about me.

  1. I am not comfortable with my body. It might be true that I wore cardigans to cover up tattoos but I also believed that the cardigans were hiding things. Flabby arms, muffin top, you name it, I thought cardigans magically covered all that up.  Then I saw pictures of myself, and they don’t.  I need to either get right with myself, or do something about the things I was trying to hide.
  2. I’m a lazy shopper.  If I find an item and like the way it looks and feels, I will buy it in several colors – whether I like the other colors or not. It means that I don’t have to try on any more clothes. Dressing rooms give me anxiety since they’re small and usually hot, and I would do almost anything not to have to try something on.
  3. I’m a fickle person.  As a point of pride, I am not normally wishy-washy. I try to make a decision and stick with it even if it’s difficult. (This doesn’t include what to have for dinner – I’m fickle as hell then.)  Subconsciously, I know something that I like today would be a temporary feeling. I will wake up one day and just all of sudden hate that item. Because of this, I buy cheap clothes. I shop at Old Navy, Gap Outlet, and Target. That’s my entire wardrobe! To have a capsule wardrobe your clothing items must be good quality – and I don’t have that.

It wasn’t all bad realizations though, as I learned some good things about me and my relationship to clothes as well.

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Who doesn’t love a bright yellow cardigan?
  1. I love color. All the colors, all the time! I hate wearing black or brown – it actually makes me sad. And I really struggle with wearing them at the same time. Most capsule wardrobes are made from neutral colors in order to coordinate with each other – difficult if you wear any color under the sun and …
  2. I love not really matching.  I don’t buy anything in matching sets, I pair colors that you don’t generally see together, and I’m okay if someone looks at me and thinks “How did that come together?” I want to be original, and I don’t believe in this dressing for your age bull.  If I want to wear a dress and tennis shoes, then I will, which made me realize…
  3. I hate dressing up.  I wear dresses as a cheat. That’s one item to put on versus pants, and a shirt, and then shoes, and probably a cardigan. Meh. I wear dresses because I don’t wear shorts and it’s hot in the summer. For events, I look for a dress that barely makes the dress code (expressed or implied) and that I can wear more casually later.

All in all, it wasn’t a completely bad experience. Did I fail? You betcha. After all was said and done, my wardrobe consisted of 94 items and not the 39-item original goal.  And then I went to Target.

I may have learned things about my wardrobe and me, but it’s going to take a while for me to adjust that mindset and that’s okay. I may never have a capsule wardrobe, and that’s okay, too. What the goal should be is to have a wardrobe that I love – each and every piece.

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